Q:           What is a section of fence?

A:            A section of fence is considered 1 post and 2 rails for a 2 rail fence or 1 post and 3 rails for a 3 rail fence.

Q:           How long is a single section of fence?

A:            11’ rails make sections 10’ 4” from center-to-center of the posts (you lose 8” due to overlap).  8’ rails are cut long at 8

                 1/2' so they make sections that are 7’ 10” to 8' from center-to-center of the posts.

                Western Red Cedar rails make a 10’ section from center-to-center of the posts


                 Round Cedar rails are 10' long and make sections 9' 4" to 9' 6" from center-to-center of the posts.

Q:           How much fence will I need?

A:             If you know the dimensions of the area to be fenced, divide the total linear footage by the rail size (above) to get the

                 number of sections.  You will need one  post per section, plus a final post at the end, and 2 – 3 rails per section
                depending on whether you want 2 rail or 3 rail fence.               

                For example, a 100’ length of 3 rail fence would use 11 posts and 30 rails.  Plus 
                you should take into account corners, ends and gates.  Please call 215-997-1828
                or email pete@splitrailstore if you would like help with this.

Q:           How tall is the fence after it is installed?

A:            3 rail fence is about 4’ high at the top rail.

                2 rail fence is about 3’ high at the top rail.

Q:           How long are the posts?

A:            3 rail posts are 7’ long (a 3 rail cedar post is 6.5' long)

                 2 rail posts are 5 ½’ long

Q:           What are the dimensions of the fence?

A:             Split rail fence is rough cut so the exact dimensions vary, but line posts are approximately 3” x 6” x 7’ long.

                 End and corner posts are 4” x 4” x 7’ long

                Rails come in a variety of shapes, consistent with the old-time rustic look.  The basic shapes are triangles, pie shapes                  (triangle with one rounded face), squares and diamonds.  The average girth is 12 – 14”

Q:           How deep do you dig the post hole?

A:             A 3 rail post should be set 30” deep (since cedar is 6" shorter and lighter, it may
                 be buried 24 - 30"--24" would make the top rail stand 4' high).

                2 rail posts should be set 24” deep.

Q:           Do you fill the holes with gravel or concrete?

A:            No, the hole should be filled only with the dirt that came out of the hole and tamped back in .  Concrete is bad for the                   wood (erodes it), and gravel simply creates a porous pocket where water can collect.  Well tamped soil is very stable 
                and waterproof.  Some people use concrete for gate posts for additional stability.

Q:           What kind of wood do you use?

A:            My pressure treated wood is pine because pine is the best wood for pressure  treating.

                Untreated posts are made of locust, a very hard and long lasting wood.  Untreated rails are made of pine.

                We are also one of the only dealers in the area to carry western red cedar split rail fence.

Q:           Where does the wood come from?

A:            Our pressure treated and locust split rail comes from West Virginia.  Most split rail in this area comes from a

                  handful of small mills in West Virginia that have been making split rail for generations.

                Western Red Cedar comes from a mill in Montana.

                   Round Cedar comes from Ontario, Canada.


Q:           Do you have hemlock or spruce?

A:            No, I prefer pine because it is clean and straight.  Other woods like hemlock and spruce are also commonly used and

                 are also softwoods, very similar to pine.

Q:           What is the chemical used for pressure treating?

A:            It is a copper based chemical called ACQ.  Arsenic based preservatives were used in the past but are no longer          

                commonly in use.  ACQ is EPA  approved for use around people and pets because the active ingredient is copper

               which is relatively non toxic.

Q:           How long will the fence last under normal circumstances?

A:            Pressure treated fence should last 10-12 years, although specific conditions can vary.

                Locust posts should last 20+ years

                Untreated rails should last 8 – 10 years

                Cedar should last 10 – 15 years

Q:           Do I need to do anything to preserve the wood?

A:            No, you do not need to do anything to pressure treated wood, locust or cedar to increase its life span.  Natural rails

                 will benefit from Thompson's Water Seal or similar.

Q:           How big are your gates?

                We have 42”, 48”, 60” and 72" single gates and they can be doubled up to make 7’, 8’, 10’ and 12' spans.  We do not

                stock wood gates any wider than this because they tend to wear out and sag.  For larger gates we recommend

                aluminum frame farm gates that come in a variety of large sizes (ask for pricing).

Q:           What is western red cedar like?

A:            Cedar split rail is very rare in this area, but it is catching on because it is beautiful and unique.   We are one of the

                only dealers in the area to carry cedar.   It is split, not saw cut, so it is more rustic than traditional split rail.  It fits

                together differently than traditional split rail (mortise and tenon fitting), so it cannot be mixed and 
                matched with other woods.

Q:           What does delivery and installation cost?

A:            Installation is generally $5.75 to $8.00 per linear foot of fence needed,  depending on your location and the fence                          type and as long as there are no special circumstances.  Delivery depends on where you are located.  Give us a call or                    email with your location and we can give you the delivery charge and a free estimate for installation.

Q:           How long does it take to turn around an order?

A:            Depending on our schedule deliveries generally take a couple days and 
                installation can usually be scheduled in a week (up to 3 - 4 weeks in Spring).

Q:           Can split rail fence be used to contain dogs?


A:            Yes.  By attaching welded wire to the split rail fence, it makes an ideal dog containment fence.  3 rail fence with 4'

                 high wire is recommended for most dogs.

Q:          Is split rail good for horses?

A:             Absolutely!  3 rail split rail is very popular for horses and other livestock.  Pressure treated is often used, but if you

                 have a "cribber" and are worried about the chemicals, our natural locust posts and natural rails are a great choice

                 too.

Common Questions and Answers


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Email:  pete@splitrailstore.com


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